New 10 Gallon - lights, and stuff!

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by tizapolgar, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. tizapolgar

    tizapolgar Zymurgist

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    Hi folks...lots of info on the site and I'm hoping that I could get some personalized help.

    I've had freshwater tanks for years (since I was a kid), and this little 10 gallon is my first foray into the saltwater/reef world. Of course, I'd love a much larger one, but my apartment (and my budget) are very small, so I have to work with what I have right now :mrgreen:

    Anyhow...the set up. 10 gallon with small hang-on-tank filter w/carbon. Live sand (sorry, can't remember how much), and about 10 pounds of live rock (which I put in way too soon - not cured nearly enough, but I got some bad advice and will now live with the consequences - i know what they are but my options seem pretty limited at this point...but at least I learned not to automatically trust a LFS guy that SOUNDS like he knows what he's doing...).

    Specific gravity of 1.022, temperature is at a nearly constant 78-80. I haven't tested the water yet, because I know it will be bad (being set up for only a week), but I get paid on Friday and a test kit is on the list for this weekend.

    Skimmer is on the way, and I've been doing one 10% water change per week (which is one so far).

    I currently have 2 Coralife six inch 10 watt 50/50 bulbs, which are on about 8 hours per day. Otherwise, the tank is in a pretty dimly lit area.

    I know it will take the LR quite some time to finish dying off and coming back, but in the long run I am wondering if my light setup is good enough to promote growth, or if I definitely need to invest more in it. Remember, I'm a poor graduate student, so my options are a bit limited. My goal isn't to have the most beautiful reef tank ever - that will come later when I can REALLY do a large tank right, I just would like some neat, healthy stuff :mrgreen:

    Oh, my goal is actually this, if it helps: one to two small fish (probably a clown), a good invert colony (copepods, beneficial worms, etc.), and a healthy colony of "stuff" on the live rock...and a couple of blue legged hermits and maybe some snails to keep things tidy.

    Any advice, specific or general, on the set-up?

    Thanks already...I've already learned a lot for the site and maybe (one of these days when I really know what I'm doing!) I'll be able to advise newbies like me!
     
    tizapolgar, Sep 11, 2006
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  2. tizapolgar

    george

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    Hi I think a small power head would be helpful.circulate the water to get the dead stuff off the rock.Keep rinsing out sponges in filter until rock is fully cured keep checking water. when all is good then add a fish.
     
    george, Sep 12, 2006
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  3. tizapolgar

    jhnrb

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    Keep up your water changes, smell the water and if it smells like clean crisp ocean water your doing good but if it smells like bad news, stinks etc do a water change. you lights are fine for fish only and maybe some zoes or mushrooms. just watch your bio load you add and do not over do it with that size of a system. if you can manage a small system like 10 gallons for any length of time you will do just fine on a larger one. the smaller a system the quicker the bad stuff happens. you will need to get the rest of the equipment on andgoing i.e. protien skimmer and see what that will do for you. will help a lot im sure. bout all I can give at this time until your system is completed and you are able to test for amonia, nitrite, nitrate as a minimum. welcome to the site and keep us posted. oh, and yes circulation is a must in the system and dont forget to clean out your mechanical filters at least every 10 days or so.
     
    jhnrb, Sep 12, 2006
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  4. tizapolgar

    minireefer

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    Look like you have some idea already the above advice is good.Along with clown a six line wrasse will stay small and help keep pest down.My first salt was a 12 gallon and I had a clown and a six line wrasse.Now I passed to nephew(I guess it is really still mine since I do all maintance)and house a pair of false perc clowns
     
    minireefer, Sep 12, 2006
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  5. tizapolgar

    tizapolgar Zymurgist

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    Thanks for all the advice, guys! I added a small powerhead we had to increase circulation, and went ahead and removed the live rock and gave it all a scrub to remove dirt/dead things...should've done that before but I was way too impatient and hadn't done my research. Lessons learned, the hard way. I also did a water change, to start making up for being stupid and putting too-fresh live rock in the tank.

    I'd like to improve the lights a bit, to get more out of the LR than shrooms and such...any suggestions (higher wattage, etc.)?

    Basically, I guess I'm ALMOST starting from scratch...but things will definitely be better off in the long run.

    Thanks again!
     
    tizapolgar, Sep 12, 2006
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  6. tizapolgar

    minireefer

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    curently at 2 watts a gallon you get alittle color and growth out your rock.Coralife make a quad 20" fixture that produces 96 watts $90 and there is a satalite 40 watt in 20" $50 or if your tank is long 24" coralife also make 65 watt pc fixture $53.The price are might be off by a dollar or two
     
    minireefer, Sep 14, 2006
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  7. tizapolgar

    tizapolgar Zymurgist

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    Hi Jasen, thanks...

    Sounds like more wattage would be a good idea...BUT...

    ...when I set the tank up, I bought the 20 watt (total) 6 inch 50/50 20,000k, and would it be a bad idea to let them run their life, then upgrade the lighting system? Will the rock respond, a few months from now (i'm thinking christmas present :mrgreen:) , to more light after being with what I have for a while?

    Plus...for poor PhD student upgrading lighting is bloody expensive and takes some saving =)

    Thanks again, everyone, for answering all of my questions!

    (oh, and I do have a LITTLE growth on the very first rock I put in...a featherduster, and some of the long skinny worms that stick out into the substrate, as well as a couple of the sand-tube building worms...woohoo! And, a small frag of green star polyp that accidentally came with the rock...I stuck it in a crevice in a rock closer to the surface of the water. The green parts came out for a couple of days, then hid again when I was arranging the rest of the rock. Hasn't come out since, but the purple color is still good and i'm hoping for a recovery).
     
    tizapolgar, Sep 14, 2006
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  8. tizapolgar

    minireefer

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    Sounds like the rock is healthy.The worms are probley speghetti worms good things.
     
    minireefer, Sep 23, 2006
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  9. tizapolgar

    tizapolgar Zymurgist

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    Yeah, I think you're right about the worms.

    By the way, I upgraded the lighting (to the chagrin of my fiancee...heheheh) and I now have a coralife 50/50 65 watt, so I'm hopeing to have a wider variety of corals (and a better response from the live rock) once the cycle is fully completed. Right now, everything is at 0 except for nitrates, and I'm going 10% water changes every couple of days in order to push them down.

    I already have a small frag of green star polyp that came accidentally with a piece of live rock, and it's responding well to the light and the polyps are out, so i'm guessing that's a good sign!
     
    tizapolgar, Sep 24, 2006
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  10. tizapolgar

    minireefer

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    That light will be fine all sourt of soft(shrooms,zoos,leather,and others), and some LPS coral(frogspawn,hammers,tourchs,and others),I would try to stay away from SPS types,and clams.
     
    minireefer, Sep 25, 2006
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